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Researchers will study cavity-prevention techniques with NIH grant

November 06, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

New York University College of Dentistry researchers will study cavity prevention and cost effectiveness in school-based dental programs in New Hampshire, according to an October news release from the university.

The $3.6 million, five-year grant is from The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, which is part of the National Institutes for Health. It will fund a statewide program in six rural New Hampshire counties providing dental care to approximately 12,000 children, from preschool to sixth grade, in over 40 schools, according to the release.

The study will compare the effectiveness of two cavity-prevention techniques, topical silver and fluoride; and traditional sealants and fluoride.

For the study, all children will receive the same preventive dental care twice each year. The researchers will assess oral health to compare the outcomes of both treatments.

"In the short term, this trial will improve the health of New Hampshire children. In the long term, our findings can inform New Hampshire and U.S. policy planning to reduce oral health disparities through the creation of a cost effective, evidenced-based, and school-based cavity prevention model," said Ryan Richard Ruff, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology & health promotion at NYU Dentistry, who will colead the study with Dr. Richard Niederman.

The same research team also received funding to compare cavity prevention techniques in urban elementary schools. The five-year study, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, focuses on high-need elementary schools in the Bronx that serve largely Hispanic/Latino communities.